Engadine Aerie: A Hardy Durkin Travel Mysteries series (Hardy Durkin Travel Mystery Book 5) – Bluette Matthey

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

Engadine Valley, a quiet remote Alpine resort, is about to host a popular ski marathon. However, right before the event, a man is murdered on the slopes and this has international implications.

Najib, who was sent by an Abu Dhabi prince to track down leads on an illegal falcon smuggling operation, has been hit by a drone with an attached firearm. Specifically, his assignment was to follow the money trail between someone in the Prince’s family and a terrorist group. Did he get too close to the truth?

Two witnesses to the murder were the Prince’s wife, and our protagonist Hardy Durkin. Durkin is a hiking tour operator who was helping a friend who just started a new ski business. He has a reputation of casually coming across crimes, and is able to solve them. He is not a licensed private investigator, but through his late father’s connections, as well as his odd situations, he knows important people in law enforcement. Luckily these acquaintances actually appreciate his help.

There are some morally ambiguous people in the ski group who have criminal ties. Could they be part of this? One murder, an attempted murder, a terrorist bombing and an illegal arms sale threaten this peaceful resort.

Engadine Aerie is an engaging, scenic novel that utilizes its beautiful setting in the plot. What I especially enjoyed about this novel are all of the eccentric characters. They are all too human with all of their flaws, and are fully developed.

The author gives us detailed history of the area going back centuries. While this is interesting, it does disrupt the flow of the book. I felt that this should have been shorter and better integrated within the book. After reading the historical parts, I found that I had to reacquaint myself with all of the characters.

I still recommend Engadine Aerie to those who enjoy a fast-paced thriller with lots of twists and unusual personalities.

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